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C 110 E/2 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.

2003

The Commission Delegation in Hanoi and the Diplomatic Missions of the Member States raise issues of
concern in relation to human rights in Vietnam on an ongoing basis. For example, the Commission can
inform the Honourable Member that the human rights situation in Vietnam was discussed during the
Union-Vietnam Joint Commission in Hanoi on 6 November 2001 and again raised during the donors
Consultative Group Meeting in Hanoi on 7-8 December 2001.

(1) COM(2001) 252 final.

(2003/C 110 E/002) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0729/02


by Michl Ebner (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(14 March 2002)

Subject: Beef premium

As part of the Swedish Presidency’s proposed compromise, adopted by the Agriculture Council on 19 June
2001 in Luxembourg, it was agreed that special premiums would be guaranteed in principle in all Member
States for a maximum of 90 animals per farm and that stock density would be reduced to 1,8 livestock
units per hectare.

Can the Commission say:

 How many farms in the individual Member States are above this limit?

 How many farms in the applicant countries are above this limit?

 Whether there are any plans to introduce an identical or a similar limit for other agricultural sectors?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(3 May 2002)

The terms of application of the provision on a maximum of 90 animals per age bracket, calendar year and
farm for granting of the special premium were tightened up by the Council when it adopted Regulation
(EC) No 1512/2001 of 23 July 2001 (1) amending its Regulation (EC) No 1254/1999 of 17 May 1999 on
common organisation of the market in beef and veal (2).

On the basis of the initial version of Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No 1254/1999 ten Member States had
decided to ignore or waive the 90-animal limit.

At present two Member States have officially informed the Commission of their intention to waive or
ignore this limit for 2002 under the new rules set by Regulation (EC) No 1512/2001.

The stocking density requirement expressed in livestock units (LU) per hectare restricts the number of
animals on which the special premium and the suckler cow premium can be paid. On this matter the
Commission has information provided by the Member States for the purposes of ongoing management of
the premium system.

For each of the premiums Member States notify the number of animals on which it has been granted and
the number of producers receiving it, and also the number of animals and producers to which the stocking
density requirement does not apply because the animals amount to less than 15 LU.

The rules in force do not require Member States to provide information on areas or number of farms
involved, or on the number of producers or animals excluded from the premiums for failure to meet the
stocking density requirement.

However, given that compliance with the stocking density requirement is a condition for granting of the
special premium and the suckler cow premium producers receiving either or both of them are considered
to comply with it.
8.5.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/3

Thus the Commission can make available to the Honourable Member the figures for the number of
producers who have received the special premium and the suckler cow premium and the number of
animals on which it has been granted and also on the number of producers exempt from the stocking
density requirement and the number of animals involved. It can send him these figures if he needs them.

In most of the applicant countries no consideration has been given to the idea of a stocking density
requirement in connection with direct payments to beef producers. The Commission does not have any
figures on the numbers of holdings likely to be in compliance with the density set in the Community rules.

The applicant countries have asked for national ceilings to be set for direct payments in the beef sector, in
particular the special premium and the suckler cow premium. Their requests are based on national figures
giving only the number of animals potentially eligible for each of these.

The Commission’s information is that cattle farming systems in the applicant countries are in general more
extensive in nature than in the Member States.

The Commission has no plans at present to propose introduction of similar limits in other agricultural
sectors.

(1) OJ L 201, 26.7.2001.


(2) OJ L 160, 26.6.1999.

(2003/C 110 E/003) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0747/02


by Claude Moraes (PSE) to the Commission

(8 March 2002)

Subject: Attacks on Hindu minority in Bangladesh

What are the European Union’s views on the failure of the Bangladesh Government and the police force to
secure the rights of the Hindu community following the recent attacks? These attacks have been well
documented by the press and human rights organisations nationally and internationally.

What action will the European Union take to ensure that the Bangladesh Government acknowledges the
nature and extent of these attacks, and takes all necessary steps to prevent them from continuing (the
attacks are continuing as reported by the Bangladesh press), and to punish those responsible?

Why did the Bangladesh Government arrest human rights activist Shahriar Kabir, who was only exposing
the plight of the Hindu minority?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(12 April 2002)

Political motivated violence and confrontation as well as the prevailing law and order situation have been
for years a main concern for the Bangladesh’s population, the Union and more in general the international
donor community. The spate of politically motivated violence before and in the aftermath of the national
elections is, to some extent, a continuation of an ever present violence in Bangladesh society. However, the
unprecedented extent, brutality and duration of this recent violent activity against opposition workers and
religious minorities, particularly the Hindu community, has been particularly worrying.

However, based on cross-checked information from and analysis of different sources in Bangladesh, the
Commission is of the opinion that this violence was mainly caused by the power vacuum in the interim
period before the new government firmly established itself. The usual groups of ‘mastans’ and hoodlums
took advantage of this prolonged power vacuum and disorientation of the law and order authorities to
settle old scores and consolidate their positions under the new regime.